Strategies for combating illicit art and antiquities trafficking were discussed at a London event following an initiative of the city's Mayor, Boris Johnson. The London Mayor hosted a ceremony on November 30 and welcomed Members of Parliament. Invited speakers included Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO, Lord Colin Renfrew, Tasoula Hadjitofi, Claire Hutcheon of the Art and Antiquities Unit at Scotland Yard, and Peter Stone of the Blue Shield, David Burrowes MP, founder and co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Protection of Cultural Heritage
In his presentation, the London Mayor announced efforts for combating the illicit trafficking of antiquities from terrorists and declared Londons willingness to become a safe haven for looted artefacts emerging from conflict zones. These artefacts, as he clarified, will ideally be repatriated in their country of origin following the conflict resolution. The City Hall of London meeting was organized on the occasion of the launch of an APPG for the protection of cultural heritage. "ISIS-Daesh and other terrorist organisations are hell bent on committing appalling acts of terrorism and murder around the world. In addition, they seek to destroy democracy and obliterate history. London stands ready to provide a safe haven for the temporary storage of these irreplaceable artefacts until they can be returned to their home countries", Johnson said.